Mataró Prison is the work of Elies Rogent i Amat, a representative of the historicist architectural trend and considered the master of several Catalan modernist architects such as Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Muntaner.
In this building, the architect applied a new conception of prison architecture that makes it unique. The project, commissioned in 1851, starts from the novel “panoptic” concept, developed by the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, which allows the inmates to be controlled from many angles. The construction consists of two connected parts: a rectangular body with a central surveillance tower and a semi-circular body for the prisoners’ cells, with a courtyard in the middle. It is an urban building with two street façades without a moat or protection walls.
The construction came into operation in 1863 for the purpose of preventive seclusion. There are a number of prison outbuildings and both their morphology and uses have varied over time. The interior is now very different from the original plans. Today it houses the M|A|C Mataró Art Contemporani.
Open: From Tuesdays to Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays and public holidays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Public holidays when closed: 1 and 6 January, Good Friday, 1 May, 24 June, 27 July, 15 August, 11 September, and 25 and 26 December.